It's hard to credit, but now that I no longer have the day job, I'm actually struggling to maintain my output. I hesitate to admit that I'm actually doing less writing now than when I was working. (Although I now earn my living from writing, I still can't think of writing as work.) 'Writers' block,' you mutter knowingly, 'that's why she's struggling to write so much.' You couldn't be more wrong.
The problem that keeps me from writing is that I'm just too busy. Take my visit to York in October. I'm going there to research the area for the Ian Peterson series which is set in York. Of the twelve days I'll be be in the area, I actually have two days free for my research. The rest of the visit is taken up with seven bookshop visits, two library talks, and one U3A talk, and then there's likely to be a radio interview and an interview with a local paper - and I still need to fit in a talk to students at a local college. And so it goes on... I'm going to struggle to fit in all my research. Writing won't get a look in.
Look at my summer. July was occupied with a research trip for a week, followed by a crime festival which took up nearly another week. apart from two book signings, two author talks, and six meetings. In August I spent two weeks teaching at the Writers Lab in Greece, followed by a week at a Literary Festival in France, with a signing and a meeting thrown in between my travels. And so it goes on, meetings, book signings, author talks and workshops, one after another, with seemingly no let up.
It's all great fun, but I do sometimes look back at the days when all I did was work full-time in a normal job, and write books. Life was so much simpler then, and, dare I say it, not quite such hard work.